• Andrew Thurston

    Editor, The Brink Twitter Profile

    Photo of Andrew Thurston, a white man with black glasses. He smiles and wears a maroon polo shirt.

    Andrew Thurston is originally from England, but has grown to appreciate the serial comma and the Red Sox, while keeping his accent (mostly) and love of West Ham United. He joined BU in 2007, and is the editor of the University’s research news site, The Brink; he was formerly director of alumni publications. Before joining BU, he edited consumer and business magazines, including for corporations, nonprofits, and the UK government. His work has won awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, the In-House Agency Forum, Folio:, and the British Association of Communicators in Business. Andrew has a bachelor’s degree in English and related literature from the University of York. Profile

  • Jackie Ricciardi

    Staff photojournalist

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    Jackie Ricciardi is a staff photojournalist at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. She has worked as a staff photographer at newspapers that include the Augusta Chronicle in Augusta, Ga., and at Seacoast Media Group in Portsmouth, N.H., where she was twice named New Hampshire Press Photographer of the Year. Profile

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There are 5 comments on Can WhatsApp Messages Be Secure and Encrypted—but Traceable at the Same Time?

  1. I haven’t looked at the tool, but on the face of it this seems like an astoundingly bad idea. The entire point of privacy is just that: The conversation is private. Adding ‘accountability’ in the form of hidden tokens that allow a conversation to be traced means that the conversation is no longer private.

    To answer the author: “There’s a question of can we build this, there’s also a question of should we build this?”

    Resoundingly, “NO.”

  2. Where did I hear that similarly bad ideas already, let me think….hmmm, antivirus software? Chinese sponsored VPNs? Isn’t one of your sponsors CIA? Just a reminder, providing that the moderator is not the agent in the first place, once the moderator has the sender’s token, the moderator WILL BE forced under the disguise of the law to avail it to the enforcement agencies of any authoritarian countries, read all of the countries nowadays. Duh! What a bummer!

  3. Will a user of WhatsApp or Telegram of other similar private messagining programs be told if Hecate or something like it is used on or attached to their programs so the user can decide whether to use their no longer private messaging software? If not, won’t the providers of the not so private messaging software be liable for not delivering the promised privacy?

  4. I put zero privacy trust in anything related to WhatsApp. I use the messenger from Utopia p2p ecosystem which is totally privest. It provides full security & very easy to use.

  5. While i agree privacy is a major factor here, but accountability is also another factor that people should oblige to. P2P encryption creates a visibility gap in any network. Without being able to inspect the traffic there can be incidents like sensitive information theft by internal actors or phishing attempts or cyber bullying through such channels. An encrypted channel with no visibility means even bad stuff go undetected like malwares.

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